If you were recently diagnosed, you may be thinking, “Just what is a yeast infection?” This common condition affects women of all ages – and even some men. But because it can be found in a private area you may be less apt to discuss it and ask your questions out loud.
Yeast is something that lives in your body all the time. You actually need it to be healthy. It’s found throughout your body. When you’re healthy all goes well. The yeast is kept in check by the bacteria, and other cells inside the body.
When things get a little out of whack, yeast tends to become overgrown and can cause problems. Things like taking too many antibiotics, steroids, stress, and hormonal fluctuations from the menstrual cycle can cause yeast to multiply enough to cause an infection. Did you know that pregnancy and birth control pills can also trigger yeast infections in some women.
Some other diseases that cause the immune system to fail can also lead to yeast infections. People with HIV/AIDS often have a difficult time keeping yeast infections at bay. If you’ve been sick with any type of long-term illness this can happen as well.
Yeast infections can occur in the vagina, mouth, anus, and anywhere on the body where it’s warm and moist. Some people even have problems getting them in the inner thigh and under breast tissue. It can also be a cause of diaper rash. If it occurs in the mouth, yeast infections are called thrush.
Symptoms of a yeast infection include redness, itching, and discharge. For vaginal yeast infection there can be discharge the consistency of cottage cheese. Another characteristic of yeast infections is burning in the affected area.
In rare cases yeast infections can cause serious illness. However, most of the time they clear up easily with treatment. If you’ve never had a yeast infection before, you should make an appointment with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis. Some other infections can look like yeast but are not.
Treatment includes using an antifungal cream. This helps to stop the spread of the yeast and treats the symptoms. Some powders also contain antifungal medications and these can be good for yeast infections that occur in skin folds. They help to absorb moisture while still treating the yeast.
If you’re concerned that you have a yeast infection, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention. Once diagnosed, yeast infections are easily treated. The answer to, “What is a yeast infection?” is easily understood once you have the facts.